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Ridiculous Photo Enhancement Scene from the TV Show CSI


Magically enhancing photographs to solve crimes is a staple of crime and detective dramas. To ordinary folk who have never touched a program like Photoshop, the enhancement technology might sometimes seem believable — after all, government technology is always decades ahead of civilian tech, right? However, to anyone who has any experience in photo editing, it’s pretty obvious that certain things just aren’t possible. Completely changing the camera angle in a photo, for example.

The short clip above is one ridiculous example of the “enhance!” cliché. It aired in an episode of CSI a few years back, and the YouTube uploader shared it with the title, “Why I Don’t Watch CSI”.

What’s even more hilarious than the video itself are the comments left in response. Here are some of the gems:

  • “Was that security camera by any chance the Hubble Space Telescope?” — novyak1
  • “This is real guys, I learned it at ITT tech” — jgq85
  • “To do what they just did, you’d need a 20,000 megapixel image, making each frame 30 gigabytes. The entire video with that resolution (approximately 10 seconds of footage) would be 4.5 terabytes. Yet they managed to do this with a 240p video. LOGIC!” — soundbiteproductions
  • “Why don’t they keep zooming to the point they can see the DNA strands of the killer, then cross reference it in the DNA database to find his name. There you go, case closed…” — random28152
  • “I thought this only works when they both type at the same time.” — LaTrouvera
  • “Or if the crime is done on a rainy day, they could just take footage from one camera and zoom in on reflections off of raindrops and then zoom in on the raindrops in the reflections from the raindrops until they reach whichever location where the crime was committed and zoom in on the perpetrator.” — Zeigy

If you liked this clip, check out this compilation of enhance clips, this parody of the cliché, and this example of one TV show getting the facts right.